Jodhpur, the second largest city in Rajasthan was founded by the Rajput ruler Rao Jodha in 1459. The modern-day city has expanded outside the walls, but it is the old town, with its sea of houses painted in shades of indigo, from bright to faded hues, that attracts the crowds. A tradition that some say had roots in the Indian caste system—houses were painted blue to indicate Brahmin families dwelt there—the colour can be seen on non-Brahmin houses too.
There’s another theory that the blue pigment (indigo is a natural dye) apparently carries insect-repelling qualities. Locals remain divided on the origin story of the use of indigo in the walled city of Jodhpur, but visitors are unlikely to forget the richness of the azure houses and the respite they offer amid the parched landscape of the Thar Desert.